Help is available for caregivers of children struggling with drug addiction | Western Cape Government

22Covid-19 Alerts

COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Dashboard

View Vaccine information

TB Information and Dashboard

View TB information


Help is available for caregivers of children struggling with drug addiction

24 May 2022

The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) is calling upon all caregivers dealing with substance use disorders (SUDs) within their household, particularly when it involves their children, to seek support from the department.                                                                                                                                                                                 

SUDs amongst young people in South Africa and the Western Cape is a serious cause for concern due to its devastating impact on our families and communities.

“Caregivers, rightfully so, are often concerned and sometimes emotionally devastated when they find out that their children are abusing substances or even selling drugs or alcohol. Many of our loved ones may have no idea of the impact of their substance use disorder on their parents, family members and communities.

To every caregiver struggling with a child suffering with a SUD, please know that you are not alone and the department is here to help,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.

The provincial DSD, with the support of its Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) partners provides a wide array of SUD programmes, ranging from prevention, early intervention through to community-based and in-patient rehabilitation and aftercare services.

During the 2021/22 financial year, 9199  individuals accessed substance abuse prevention and treatment services offered by the Department and its partners.

These services include, amongst others:

  • Awareness, primary prevention, early intervention and aftercare services
  • Specialised services for victims of gender-based violence. Female service users can also be admitted with their minor children for the duration of their treatment.
  • Specialised treatment for adolescent boys between 13 and 17 years of age, at two funded inpatient treatment centres;
  • Residential or in-patient treatment centres and non-residential outpatient (also known as community-based) treatment centres for adults;
  • Reintegration and after-care support;
  • School-based programs at identified high-risk schools aimed at early detection and appropriate interventions for children involved in substance abuse.

The latest Phase 47 report (2021) compiled by the South African Community Epidemiology Network on Drug Use (SACENDU) reveals that in the Western Cape, Tik continues to be the most widely used drug, followed by cannabis, alcohol and heroin, which together comprise 89% of all admissions to our treatment centres.

Finding the right help:

If you or someone you care about has a SUD or if you feel that you can’t cope with the symptoms of substance abuse in your home or place of work, getting help is the first step.

The treatment of a SUD is a process, and ongoing support is provided throughout a programme.

Before starting treatment, the service user attends an assessment session.

The completed assessments will determine the type of treatment that is required and is conducted by a trained healthcare professional or social worker. You’ll be able to have an assessment completed at a local office of the Department of Social Development or any community-based organisation with substance abuse services.

Anybody needing more information or assistance can contact us on the website, or the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.

Unregistered treatment facilities:

Unregistered treatment centres may not comply with the prescribed norms and standards, hence people accessing such services should be aware that they run the risk of paying for substandard services/treatment.

In worst-case scenarios, they may have their rights violated, run the risk of injury, even death. Unregistered facilities may not have trained staff, expertise or resources to deal with crises and/or complications associated with addiction.

Media Enquiries: 

Joshua Covenant Chigome

Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development, Minister Sharna Fernandez

Tel: 021 483 9217

Cell: 083 661 4949